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10 May 2012

Alexandria,the capital of memory

The Murder of Khalid Said
13June2010 Alexandria policemen beat young man to death, says rights group | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Today's News from Egypt “On Sunday, Khaled was at cyber café at around 11:30 in the evening. Two policemen asked him for money and when he said he didn’t have, they beat him,” Muhammad Abdel Aziz, lawyer with el-Nadeem, told al-Masry al-Youm. “As he was beaten up, his head hit a marble table and he started bleeding.” arabist

... "For insltance, the arrest of protesters in front of Sidi Gaber station in Alexandria was filmed by a blogger and uploaded to Youtube, ______________________________________________________________________________ aaa ______________________________________________________________________________ I am re-re-reading "The Alexandrian Quartet" since 2012 is the centenary of Lawrence Durrel. in 1960 it was hailed as a masterpiece,. It was certainly disturbing to a 16yr old when I read it. The book(s) rapidly went out of fashion. Now regarded as over-writter, sexually incorrect, not (post)modernist enough? One early review described it as "false orientalism" - which begs the question ... what it true Orientalism? ______________________________________________________________________________ Mohammed Ali completed the canal in 1826. Which awoke the modern Alexandria
 1863 Constantine Cavafy born
 Rue de Soeurs riot 1882 .. a riot in the European quarter ( over a cab fare) 50+ dead A month later British fleet bombarded the fortifications British occupied Egypt 2 months later

 ..Gilbert and Sullivan had Wolseley in mind when they created "the very model of a modern Major-General" in the Pirates of Penzance.. Wolseley "took no offence at the friendly satire" — in fact, he often sang the part himself to entertain his family .. The only other exception to the Wolseley luck was rather more notable: he arrived two days too late to save Gordon in Khartoum.
 The British army was guided by Commander Wyatt Rawson, naval aide-de-camp to Lieutenant-General Wolseley. He navigated successfully using the stars and the army moved into position silently. The Highland Brigade moved to the front of the attacking force. At about 05:00 on 13 September 1882, the Highland Brigade approached the Egyptian positions and there was a blaze of gunfire. The bagpipe players struck up and the Scots charged the Egyptian defences. The British army had approached the lines at Tel-el-Kebir in a staggered formation and so attacked in waves from left to right. The fighting was intense, but after just over an hour, the Egyptians fled. "General Lord Wolseley (of Cairo)" _______________________________________________________________________

Alexanders tomb

The exact date at which Philadelphus transferred Alexander's tomb to the new capital, Alexandria, which had been founded by Alexander in 331BC, is unknown, but it was most probably shortly after Ptolemy died in 282BC. No details of the tomb constructed by Philadelphus have come down to us, but there is a faint possibility that the magnificent antechamber of a Ptolemaic tumulus tomb found in pieces in the Latin Cemeteries of modern Alexandria in 1907 is a part of it. This first Alexandrian tomb was replaced by a magnificent mausoleum at the centre of Alexandria in about 215BC by the grandson of Philadelphus, Ptolemy Philopator. It was Philopator's mausoleum, standing within a huge sacred enclosure, known as the Soma, which was to become the most famous and most sacred shrine of the ancient world, for in Egypt and the Roman Empire Alexander was worshipped as a god. In 89BC one of the later Ptolemies melted down the solid gold coffin, that Diodorus describes as having been crammed with the richest aromatic spices and fitted to the body like a mummy case. This Ptolemy used the gold to pay his troops and substituted a glass coffin for the one he destroyed, but it did him no good, for he was drowned in a sea-fight with rebel forces within the year. Shrine of the Caesars ...................
in 48BC Julius Caesar arrived in Alexandria having pursued his enemy Pompey thither in the aftermath of his victory at Pharsalus. He was made a present of Pompey's head by the young Pharaoh, Ptolemy XIII, but Caesar deposed and slew him in favour of his sister, Queen Cleopatra. Caesar also took the opportunity to conduct a pilgrimage to the tomb of his hero, Alexander, in the tomb chamber carved into the rock beneath the Soma mausoleum. After a spectacular reign, Cleopatra was ultimately defeated and deposed by Octavian (the future emperor Augustus Caesar) in 30BC. His arrival in Alexandria was the occasion of the most famous visit to Alexander's tomb. Octavian had the sarcophagus brought up out of the burial chamber. He crowned the mummy and strewed it with flowers, but accidentally broke off a piece of its nose.
........ Vanished from History Towards the middle of the 3rd century AD, the Roman Empire entered a period of crisis and near collapse. At first Alexandria was little affected by these troubles, but in AD262 the local legions supported a rebellion by the governor of Egypt, whom they declared to be their emperor. The insurrection was brutally repressed. There was probably fighting in and around Alexandria and parts of the city were ruined. Less than a decade later, a local magnate by the name of Firmus supported Queen Zenobia of Palmyra in an attempt to break the eastern provinces away from the rest of the empire. Once again the rebellion was quashed. This time the rebels were besieged in the palaces along the eastern shore of the great harbour.  
.The emperor Aurelian virtually razed this area, then known as the Bruchion, to the ground.  
.The century ended badly for Alexandria, when yet another Egyptian rebel emperor was defeated and killed by Diocletian in AD298. Once again Alexandria was sacked by the imperial army. Some have believed that Alexander's tomb was destroyed in one of these upheavals, but there is now compelling evidence that it survived into the 4th century AD. Ammianus Marcellinus relates an incident which took place in about AD361.  
.The Patriarch (Christian Archbishop) Georgius is said to have posed a rhetorical question to the Alexandrian mob concerning a tall and splendid temple of the Genius of Alexandria: "How long shall this tomb stand?" he enquired. By "Genius" Ammianus meant the tutelary deity of the city and this could well mean Alexander. Certainly, Alexander is the only figure to whom this expression might apply whose tomb also lay within the city.  
.A few years later in AD365, Alexandria was struck by a phenomenal earthquake followed by a gigantic tsunami, which is reported to have wrought havoc in coastal regions and port cities throughout the eastern Mediterranean. Alexandria is reported to have been particularly hard hit with ships being lifted onto the roofs of surviving buildings. This is the most probable occasion of the destruction of the Soma Mausoleum. .......................  
.Re Tomb of Alexander: Is it possible that the mummy under St Marks in Venice is actually Alexander... then there is .."the claim of Stellio Komotsos, a Greek waiter in.. cafe-bar L'Elite in Alexandria. ..when not waiting tables, go off and dig holes everywhere he could in the city. Now retired and reportedly living in Athens, he is said to have amassed more notes, maps, and documentation on the subject than any scholar. ..Komotsos once offered to share his data with a patron in exchange for a pension in dollars and a new Mercedes... Is anyone taking up a collection? ..................

. Caracalla sacked the city in 215, but apparently respected the Mausoleum of Alexander the Great. Others to do so in the third century included Claudius II (269), Aurelian (273) and Diocletian (296) resulting in a terrible repression against the population of Alexandria which destroyed nearly the whole of the city. __________________________

In 619, Alexandria fell to the Sassanid Persians. Although the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius recovered it in 629,  
.in 641 (20AH) the Arabs under the general Amr ibn al-As captured it during the Muslim conquest of Egypt, after a siege that lasted 14 months.  
. After the Battle of Ridaniya in 1517, the city was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and remained under Ottoman rule until 1798....French troops stormed the town on 2 July 1798, and it remained in their hands until the arrival of a British expedition in 1801. The British won a considerable victory over the French at the Battle of Alexandria on 21 March 1801, following which they besieged the town, which fell to them on 2 September 1801.    
___________________________________________________________________ Sydney: Abercrombie Lane: it was created as a dividing road when the area was first subdivided in 1842. The name was in common use for decades but was only gazetted in 1975. Believed to be named after a British military officer of the Napoleonic Wars, though why it was named thus and by whom is not known.
Abercromby was buried at Malta.???? There is an unimpressive monument to Abercrombie near the railway station in Alex. Possibly not his tomb, if the Malta tomb is correct... Sir Ralph Abercromby (sometimes spelled Abercrombie) (1734-1801), was a British lieutenant-general caught a musketball in the thigh, died onboard a Brit ship in Alex harbour. ..................... cealex
The Afternoon Sun
C. P. Cavafy
(translation Lawrence Durrell)

This little room, how well I know it!
Now they've rented this and the next door one
As business premises, the whole house
Has been swallowed up by merchants' offices,
By limited companies and shipping agents. . . .

O how familiar it is, this little room!

Once here, by the door, stood a sofa,
And before it a little Turkish carpet,
Exactly here. Then the shelf with the two
Yellow vases, and on the right of them:
No. Wait. Opposite them (how time passes)
The shabby wardrobe and the little mirror.
And here in the middle the table
Where he always used to sit and write,
And round it the three cane chairs.
How many years. . . . And by the window over there
The bed we made love on so very often.

Somewhere all these old sticks of furniture
Must still be knocking about. . . .

And beside the window, yes, that bed.
The afternoon sun climbed half way up it.
We parted at four o’clock one afternoon,
Just for a week, on just such an afternoon.
I would have never
Believed those seven days could last forever.
durrell2012 Apparently Julie Christie is joining in TAQ readings .. dont know if mp3s will be available the Centenary is being celebrated in June2012 _______________________________________________________________________ ...And when Pombal said" 'you are abstracted this evening. What is the matter?' I felt like answering him in the words of the dying Amr 'I feel as if heaven lay close upon the earth and I between them both, breathing through the eye of a needle'. _____________________________________________________________  


Josa and Oswald Finney's ballroom The scene of fabulous parties and costume balls – and murder and conspiracy – in the Alexandria Quartet

07 May 2012

Greece, Methane, Germaine Greer

Property... prices here have dropped to as little as one quarter of what they were five years ago. The Greeks who could afford to have left. For rent signs are plastered over almost every one of the area's shabby five-storey apartment blocks. On the side streets among the North African-run mini markets and Nigerian internet cafes, newcomers from West Africa push shopping trolleys full of scrap metal stripped from deserted buildings. Large-scale drug dealing has overtaken an entire street in the neighbourhood. Violent crime has rocketed.

 ..fourth year in recession, Greece now outstrips even Spain for youth unemployment yesterday ... under-25s at 51.2%. The headline .. is 21.7% while the real rate 25%">..

 Somewhere around 25-35% unemployment, wage-salvery becomes untenable, even to those repressively tolerant.. independent ______________________________________________________
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 The Fongoli Chimps - How to Grow a Planet - Episode 3 - BBC Two youtube ______________________________________________________

 methane from AQUA satellite Looks like methane is coming from the ocean?? (see south atlantic) also siberia, china? Not equatorial regions. SCIAMACHY satellite is now lost (6Apr12) - seemed to be source of a bunch of science-Methane papers - is AQUA adequate ? Is there a giant burp coming from Arctic? Was there a flat level pre-2007? Is CO2 even well mixed? ______________________________________________________
n methane concentration, we estimate that sea–air fluxes amount to around 2 mg d-1 m-2, comparable to emissions seen on the Siberian shelf. aaa ggpht ______________________________________________________

 Marx doesn’t use the word ‘capitalism’. The term never occurs in the finished first part of Das Kapital he never talks of Kapitalismus.... The terms he preferred were ‘political economy’ and ‘bourgeois political economy’, which he saw as encompassing everything from property rights to our contemporary idea of human rights to the very conception of the independent autonomous individual. I think he didn’t use the word ‘capitalism’ because that would have implied that capitalism was one of a number of competing possible systems – and Marx didn’t believe that. He didn’t think it was possible to move past capitalism without a fundamental overturning of the existing social, political and philosophical order. ______________________________________________________

 Paper Promises: Money, Debt and the New World Order by Philip Coggan 2011, ISBN 978 1 84614 510 0

Debt: The First 5000 Years by David Graeber Melville House, 534 pp, £21.99, July 2011, ISBN 978 1 933633 86 2 99

 Credit arrangements organised by religious authorities, like the differential schedules of interest for separate castes in India, could still lead to steep inequality. Elsewhere, however, Confucian strictures against extraordinary profits or the Islamic prohibition of usury allowed markets to run on credit without indenturing one portion of the population to another. Graeber’s account of medieval Muslim commerce has warmer words for the institution of the market than are usually heard on the left: By abandoning the usurious practices that had made them so obnoxious to their neighbours for untold centuries before, [merchants] were able to become – alongside religious teachers – the effective leaders of their communities … The spread of Islam allowed the market to become a global phenomenon … But the very fact that this was, in a certain way, a genuinely free market, not one created by the government and backed by its police and prisons – a world of handshake deals and paper promises backed only by the integrity of the signer – meant that it could never really become the world imagined by those who later adopted many of the same ideas and arguments: one of purely self-interested individuals vying for material advantage by any means at hand. Notwithstanding some equivocations on the role of the state (‘Markets were never entirely independent from the government. Islamic regimes did employ all the usual strategies of manipulating tax policy to encourage the growth of markets’), here is a glimpse of the anti-rentier but pro-market conception of economic life that must surely count as an intermediate necessity for radical politics today. lrb longnow youtube crookedtimber thenewinquiry _______________________________________

  mondoweiss.net palestinian-flag _________________________________________________________________________________

 Shakespeares wife. Germaine Greer Wgtn Festival March 2012 Social History The women of Stratford backfilledhe trenches dug for the enclosure of the ancient commons. Was Ann amongst them? William was aligned with the enclosers, fiscalisation, privatisation . It was surely Ann that was buying and selling malt. 1/3 of Stratford were on poor relief Hathaways were successful in America, GG hails Covendales Psalms, the Geneva bible, 1599 the first commonly available.. .. the Authorised version " a nasty piece of work" ??   radio national

 My soul waiteth on the Lord more than the morning watch watcheth for the morning. (Psalm 130 Geneva 1599)

 "Kissing the Rod" GG in Tulsa.. (C17 womens poetry) "they that have power to hurt and will do none" Women of the later tragedies are impotent... Ophelia incapable ofhonesty, sets up Hamlet to be murdered... - its advisable to attend GG, despite her silly Australianness, she is lively on literature